Occupy Report 12/13-12/20

The Occupations Report: 12/13 This report includes updates from Occupy sites and related efforts across the country and the globe. It includes big wins, local organizing efforts, protests/events, police activity reports and calls to action where additional support from allies/general public may be needed.   *********************************************************************************************   Occupy West Coast Port Action: Three Major Ports Shut Down Tuesday, December 13, 2011 [LA Times]   “The protests stretched from San Diego to Anchorage, brought work to a standstill in Oakland and Longview, Wash., and led to the closure of a major marine terminal in Portland, Ore. Demonstrators caused smaller disruptions in Seattle and in Long Beach, where a driving rain and threats of arrest put a damper on an early morning picket line.”   Reporting from Oakland, Seattle and Long Beach— Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked access to several major West Coast ports Monday in synchronized demonstrations that slowed business but fell short of what some protesters hoped would be a complete shutdown of coastal shipping. The protests stretched from San Diego to Anchorage, brought work to a standstill in Oakland and Longview, Wash., and led to the closure of a major marine terminal in Portland, Ore. Demonstrators caused smaller disruptions in Seattle and in Long Beach, where a driving rain and threats of arrest put a damper on an early morning picket line. In many cities, protesters targeted terminals operated by SSA Marine, a shipping company that is locked in a labor dispute with some port truckers, and is partly owned by Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs.     Bill of Rights Day this Thursday, Dec. 15 There are currently actions planned in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco, and several national coalitions–including the Muslim Peace Coalition, United National Antiwar Coalition, and National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms–are co-promoting this call to action.   The Cleveland rally will be at Public Square at 3 PM across from Tower City, and theand March at 3:45 PM to the Federal Building at Ontario and Lakeside. The Federal Building contains Senator Portman’s office; he voted for this legislation. (Editor’s note: Senator Sherrod Brown also voted for this legislation. Perhaps we can have an additional protest at and/or near his office.)   Please share with your respective grassroots networks: http://bordc.org/ndaa/ ndaatoolkit.pdf. If your organization does mostly online action, please consider linking to (or replicating) these petitions, one of which is specifically for military servicemembers, vets, and retired officers: http://bordc.org/ndaa/.     ***********************************************************************************************   Occupy Oakland West Coast Port Successfully Shut-Down Monday, December 12, 2011 [Huffington Post] – Most longshoremen at the Port of Oakland were sent home Monday after Wall Street demonstrators blocked entrances as part of a coordinated West Coast port blockade effort. Shipping companies agreed with workers’ concerns that the protests were creating unsafe working conditions and released about 150 out of about 200 workers on the morning shift, said Craig Merrilees, spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Workers in unaffected parts of the port remained on the job. Several hundred people began picketing at the Port of Oakland before dawn and blocked at least two entrances. A long line of big rigs sat outside the gates, unable to drive into the port. Police in riot gear monitored the scene as protesters marched in an oval and carried signs with messages such as “Labor and Occupy Unite,” an invitation to the powerful dockworkers union join their push against corporate greed. No major clashes with police or arrests were reported.   Occupy Atlanta Free Copper Tuesday, Dec. 13 [Member report] – Copper found a home with Occupy Atlanta, and Occupy Atlanta found in him a tireless advocate and hard-working contributor to the community. Being part of Occupy Atlanta sometimes means becoming a target of the authorities, warranted or not. Copper intervened when a park ambassador attempted to remove signs which had previously been left alone, and he was arrested. Copper has spoken about his past life and its troubles. Because of his past, and because he is still considered “homeless,” his bond is significantly higher than it would otherwise be. We have made the decision to use our funds to secure his release because we believe that he deserves a chance to continue to turn his life around. Please donate to the Occupy Atlanta Legal Fund. Watch this video about Copper’s journey with Occupy Atlanta http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2GS4FI1Zhw0.   Video from Last Week’s Foreclosure Actions http://occupyatlanta.org/2011/12/12/great-videos-from-last-weeks-foreclosure-actions/   Occupy Baltimore Police Clear Square Tuesday, Dec. 13 – 50 law enforcement officers cleared the square at around 3:30 this morning. No one was arrested. Participants were asked to take their tents down. Participants were told that they could return to the square at 8am this morning. Occupy Baltimore will hold an emergency GA at 8pm tonight.   Occupy Boston Boston Counts, Counsels Homeless In Downtown Crossing, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and emergency shelter director Jim Greene offered assistance to Courtney Smith, 35, during Boston’s homeless census last night. Menino and Greene spent several minutes talking to Harris, as an activist passing by with a tray of sandwiches from an Occupy Boston meeting handed him one. “I’ve been feeding the homeless for a long time,” said the activist, David Lamoso, 30, of East Boston. “We did it a lot in Dewey Square” where Occupy Boston had been located. As the night and the count went on, some homeless residents accepted transportation to shelters, while other refused. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2011/12/13/boston-counts-counsels-homeless/IcX5EnERCaG84LkqsTfr6I/story.html   Occupy Chicago “Turnaround” the Mayor’s Office Wednesday, Dec. 14 – Chicago 12/12 – Since taking office, Rahm Emanuel has made privatizing Chicago’s public schools a top priority. Building on the strategy of Arne Duncan, former head of CPS and architect of Renaissance 2010, Mayor Emanuel has continued to scapegoat teachers and school administrators. His policies are destabilizing Chicago’s schools through punitive, union-busting measures like the “Turnaround” program, under which a “failing” school’s existing staff is dismissed without cause by the Board of Education, and a new principal – specially trained to guide the overhaul – takes charge, hires new teachers and pushes for higher expectations, standardized test scores and discipline. 3pm – City Hall, 5th Floor   Occupy Denver First-Hand Account of Port Action Tuesday, Dec. 13 – Denver, Longmont, Boulder and Greely gathered at the WalMart distribution center in Loveland Colorado Monday morning to blockade the trucks in solidarity with the West Coast Blockade.  Today, Occupy Denver protesters released a first-hand account of Monday’s events. Protesters counted approximately 35-40 police in one form or another at the site of the blockade. “We estimated the total number of protesters at the time of the blockade to be about 60. The 6 protesters who volunteered to block the road were very brave and when arrested some other protesters took their place. We believe between 7-10 protesters were arrested. Some of the protesters were put down on the pavement face first and handcuffed and dragged away, others were handcuffed while standing and taken away.” To read the entire account and watch the video, go to http://occupydenver.org/first-hand-accounts-of-walmart-action/.   Occupy Honolulu Occupy Honolulu’s Plea for Help WE NEED YOUR HELP! The city of Honolulu will not give us a permit to remain in Thomas Square Park past 10pm. Please call to request that the parks department grant an exception to their permit rule to Occupy Honolulu, to allow us to remain in the grassy area adjacent to the sidewalk during park closure hours. Please leave a message if no one answers.  Thank you!   Parks Department Permit Office: 808.768.3440 Park Coordinator: 808.592.2288 Fax: 808.768.3053 parks@honolulu.gov Mayor’s office: 808.768.4381complaints@honolulu.gov   Occupy Houston Police Repression During Port Shut-Down Action During Monday’s Port Shut-Down action, Houston marchers were snatched by police, handcuffed and lain out on the ground. The fire department covered them in a giant red inflatable tent to conceal what they were doing to them from the rest of the protesters.  Many cops had tape covering their names and badge numbers.  In the hours following police repression increased, mounted police attacked protesters followed by more arrests, and there was one report of a gun being pulled on someone parking their car near the protest. Watch video of Monday’s action here: http://westcoastportshutdown.org/content/houston-police-place-tent-over-restrained-protesters-and-gas-them.   Occupy Kansas City Ensuring Occupy KC is a safe place for all A motion was proposed last night to address the actions of a specific member of our group.  The motion sought was to come to consensus regarding the future involvement of Micheal Mikkelsen in Occupy KC and a corresponding statement regarding the same.  The intent behind the motion was to continue to ensure the safety of all community members of Occupy KC, including Mikkelsen himself.  After much deliberation and discussion a consensus was reached. Occupy LA An Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers On Occupy The Ports Tuesday, December 13, 2011- “We believe in the power and potential behind a truly united 99%. We admire the strength and perseverance of the longshoremen. We are fighting like mad to overcome our exploitation, so please, stick by us long after December 12. Our friends in the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports created a pledge you can sign to support us here.  We drivers have a saying, “We may not have a union yet, but no one can stop us from acting like one.” Read the letter at: http://occupylosangeles.org/?q=node/2817.  
Occupy Long Beach Occupy the Ports “A Day Without Goldman Sachs Monday, December 12, 2011 -The West Coast Port Blockade Action in Los Angeles Harbor’s Long Beach ports Monday morning was scheduled for 4:30 AM at Harry Bridges Memorial Park. According to Occupy Media’s Lady Libertine, the protest began with “the usual chanting and the usual drumming” as hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered at the Port of Long Beach in an action to shut down commerce by closing off the entry way into the port.   Occupy San Diego Line Broken, Arrests Made During Port Action Monday, December 12, 2011 – Monday morning San Diego’s picket line at the port was held for three hours until broken by police, after which longshoremen crossed picket lines and went to work. Several people were violently snatched and arrested. Both San Diego and Seattle have requested an extension of the blockade, in solidarity with them for the police repression they have endured.   Occupy Seattle Monday, December 12, 2011 – Demonstrators picketed and blockaded terminals 18 and 5 at the port of Seattle, the only terminals with ships actively unloading. At both terminals the unions arbitrator decided the longshoremen should not cross our picket line. You can learn more about the day’s events from the live blog.   Occupy University of Vermont Petition and Rally to End Rape Culture Thursday, December 15, 2011 – Occupy UVM is demanding that UVM launch an aggressive campaign against sexism and rape culture after a member of UVM’s Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity recently sent a survey to his brothers, in which the final question listed was: “If you could rape anyone who would it be?” The group holds that UVM must immediately disband Sigma Phi Epsilon and will hold a press conference and speak-out against rape culture and sexism this Thursday at noon on the steps of Baily Howe Library, Main Campus, UVM * -FedUp Vermont.   Sign the petition to end rape culture and Shut-Down Sigma Phi Epsilon here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/end-rape-culture-now—shut-down-sigma-phi-epsilon-vermont-gamma/   Occupy Vermont Occupy Green Mountain Care Listening Session Tuesday, December 13, 2011 – 6:00pm until 8:00pm. Green Mountain Care is Vermont’s plan to provide universal health insurance. It was established by Act 48 in 2011. The intricacies of funding and coverage are being formulated right now. A front group for the 1%, “Vermonters for Health Care Freedom” has been set up to try and weasel control of the process, thereby guaranteeing for themselves the greatest profits, the least taxation and regulation; while screwing the 99% percent. Car pool leaving CHP at 4 PM. WE NEED AS MANY FROM THE 99% AS WE CAN MUSTER, to show that we mean business.   Event: Vermonters Say Corporations Are Not People! Thursday, December 15 – “Fellow Vermonters, Join us in this Historic Effort to amend the Constitution Corporations Are Not People! Learn how you can get the issue on the ballot in your community. We want every Vermont town to vote on this at Town Meeting. If you want your voice heard and balance restored in Congress please join your friends and neighbors (real people) for inspiration, information and refreshments. For more information contact Marianne mjw@burlingtontelecom.net. Thursday, December 15, 2011 from 7:00pm until 8:30pm.     WORLDWIDE   Occupy Japan Solidarity with Occupy Oakland [Member report – We’ve carried out the 2nd protest action against ITOCHU,representing the attached protest letter. Security guards handed in glove each other and inhibited us from entering the office. However ONODERA Makoto, a representative of Societal Management Dept. came out from the office at the end. He received our protest letter and confirmed to forward the letter to a representative of the Food Company of ITOCHU and ask its prompt reply. ITOCHU has been and is still persisting booster of privatization, outsourcing and casualization agenda of neoliberalism, and now makes a big push to join in TPP.     Occupy Philippines Protesters in the Philippines have attempted to ‘occupy’ the historic Mendiola Bridge near the Presidential Palace by staging a campout protest against budget cuts and poverty. Police used batons and water from fire trucks to violently disperse the assembly yet thousands continue to gather around Mendiola day after day to make a strong statement in front of President Noynoy Aquino’s own doorsteps. Six students were arrested but subsequently released after the flimsy charges filed against them by the police were dismissed by the prosecutor’s office. Scores of other protesters have been critically injured by the brutal dispersals. Watch video here: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/12/10/philippines-occupy-protests-overcome-police-brutality/.     ALLIED ACTION   Activism Training for Your Site Sign-Up for Trainer Education, Group Facilitation or Nonviolent Action Training Sessions The National Training Project (NTP) is a loose nationwide coalition of training groups and networks that are collaborating to combine resources to support the growing Occupy movement. The goal is to help match trainers and other resources with cities’ needs. If you or anyone from your Occupy site is interested in Trainings for your site, sign-up at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFVrX0VtbkR3ZGIxZkV6cy1ZNjA3VHc6MQ.

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